PHOTOS: Ride Vehicles Back on Track at Matterhorn Bobsleds in Disneyland

Lisa Stump

PHOTOS: Ride Vehicles Back on Track at Matterhorn Bobsleds in Disneyland

Ride vehicles are back on the track as refurbishments draw to a close at the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride in Disneyland Park.

Ride vehicles are back on the track as refurbishments draw to a close at the Matterhorn Bobsleds ride in Disneyland Park.

Ride Vehicles Return to the Matterhorn Bobsleds Track

From the monorail, we were able to see that the ride vehicles were back on the Matterhorn Bobsleds track. We were also told that the ride operators have started testing periodically for the attraction’s planned reopening on June 2.

Matterhorn Bobsleds has been closed for refurbishment since April 17. It also went through a two-month refurbishment in the fall of 2022, reopening in October.

Matterhorn 2

Behind the construction walls, which went up right after the ride closed, we can see the queue entrance and a little Disney magic from a Cast Member.

DL FA Matterhorn from Monorail stock

Matterhorn Bobsleds History

In 1956, Walt Disney was inspired by a trip to the Alps to create a new attraction for Disneyland. He wanted to create a roller coaster that would be unlike anything else in the world. He tasked Bob Gurr, a young Imagineer, with designing the ride.

Gurr spent several months researching roller coasters and studying the Matterhorn mountain in Switzerland. He eventually came up with a design for a roller coaster that would use tubular steel track. This was a new technology at the time, and it allowed Gurr to create a smoother, more comfortable ride than what was currently being used in attractions in the 1950s.

Construction on Matterhorn Bobsleds began in 1957. The original “Disney Mountain,” the attraction was built on the border between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, and it took over a year to complete. The ride was opened to the public on June 14, 1959. This grand opening was part of a larger expansion to the park that also included the Disneyland-ALWEG Monorail System and Submarine Voyage.

Matterhorn Bobsleds was an instant success. It was the first roller coaster at Disneyland and the first tubular steel track roller coaster in the world. The mountain was also the first to use forced perspective, a technique that makes the ride housing appear larger than it actually is. Other installments in Disney Parks, including Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, scenery in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and both Rapunzel’s Tower and Beast’s Castle in Magic Kingdom all use this same technique.

Matterhorn Bobsleds has undergone several renovations over the years, but it has remained one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland. The ride is also a favorite spot for photos, as the Matterhorn is a landmark that can be seen from many areas of the park and is not duplicated in any other Disney location in the world.

In 1977, the ride was closed for a major refurbishment that included updating the animatronics and adding new scenes. The Abominable Snowman was given a new look, and new scenes were added to the ride.

In 2005, the ride was closed again for a smaller refurbishment that included updating the track and adding new lighting. The track was resurfaced, and new lighting was installed.

Watch our full Matterhorn Bobsleds ride POV video below.

Are you excited for the Matterhorn Bobsleds to reopen in June? We’d like to read about it in the comments below.

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Author

  • Lisa Stump

    Lisa loves theme parks, black coffee, and her two Sphynx cats, Jareth and Figment. She believes the best day includes a trip around World Showcase during the EPCOT International Food & Wine festival! Her favorite attractions are Rise of the Resistance, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and "it's a small world." She can be reached at lisa.stump@wdwnt.com.